The Wildcats came out with a different lineup for the first time this season, swapping Corlbe Ervin for Kamau Stokes. But Kamau came off the bench quickly, and led the Cats to leads of nine and ten points during the course of the first half. The Cats played well, making crisp passes, attacking the zone that Scott Drew had set too high, and playing solid defense. There was some hope, going into halftime with a six-point lead.
And then the teams came out for the second half. Baylor erased the lead and then took a few of their own. The Wildcats failed to adjust to the adjusted zone, and started making bad passes and getting stagnate in the offense. And the started turning the ball over. The only thing keeping the Cats in it were Baylor's poor free throws efforts. And then Kamau Stokes nailed two clutch free throws to send the game to the first overtime.
The overtimes were much the same story as the second half, and finally Baylor's home-court energy won out and the bears pulled ahead for good to seal the victory and their first-place standing in the Big 12. yeah, you read that right, Baylor is now in sole possession of first place in the Big 12.
The number that doomed the Wildcats, 22 turnovers, 15 after the intermission.
The Wildcats were efficient from the stripe, and free throw shooting really kept the Cats in the game.
You don't see this too often, but both teams had 38 rebounds for the game.
Baylor was credited with 11 blocks, 7 after halftime.
Player Of The Game: Kamau Stokes
Kamau came off the bench for the first time this season, and had 20 points including two clutch free throws to send the game into the first overtime.
Tigger Of The Game: Wes Iwundu
Note: Since HC Bruce Weber noted there are "a lot of Tiggers on this team," we're going to find that player that had an high-flying offensive play, stonewall defensive play, or a notable performance, and call them out here.
Wes played with fire, even though his shot wasn't always falling. He still managed a double-double though with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Other Notable Performances
D.J. Johnson had 11 points and 7 rebounds and played a lot of minutes, I think he's finally gotten the injury out of his mind.
Dean Wade was just a point and rebound shy of a double-double. He also missed several of "his" shots, the 14ft jumper, that would have been huge late in the game. Need him to hit that more consistently.
Taurean Prince had a night for Baylor, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 boards. He also earned himself a cheap T, but he didn't let that get in his head.
Jonathan Motley was a stat-stuffer for Baylor, hitting all 7 of his FG's, plus 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
1. These guys gave themselves a chance
The Cats came out and and shot well, attacked Baylor's mis-aligned zone and played solid defense. Getting leads of 9 and 10 before the Bears mounted comebacks. The first half effort was enough to put the Cats up 6 at halftime.
2. These guys shot themselves in the foot
ALL. THE. TURNOVERS. 22 for the game, 15 after halftime. You can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win.
3. Another game that could have been won
These guys are young, and seem to keep bouncing back, but at some point you have to think these close losses are going to take their toll on team morale.
#EMAW comes back to the friendly confines of #DOOM to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys, game time is 5:00pm on Saturday the 23rd, should be on ESPNU. This will also be the Coaches vs. Cancer Stripe-Out game.